Politics of Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Local election observer CODEO has said its observations on Tuesday’s Wassa Amenfi West by-election showed that the Electoral Commission lived up to expectation as far as organising free and fair polls are concerned.
Below are the Coalition’s observations on which it based its conclusion:
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has been observing the on-going Wassa Amenfi-West by-election since the start of polls this morning in all the 19 electoral areas and makes the following observation findings as at 12:00 noon:
Opening and Voting
Voting, as observed by CODEO observers, generally started between 7:15am and 7:45am at most of the polling stations with some delays in the setting up of polling centres. CODEO Observers reported that EC officials generally adhered to voting procedures. All polling stations observed have two (2) Biometric Voting Devices and Voters’ Biometric Data were verified without any challenges.
Setting Up of Polls
Voting materials were available for voting to commence as at the time of set-up at most polling stations observed. Almost all polling stations observed by CODEO observers were also set up in line with the principle of secret balloting. Almost all polling stations were accessible to persons with disability and the elderly. Also, all the four (4) political parties in the contest, i.e. the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) and the United Front Party (UFP) had their polling agents present in almost all polling stations observed.
Presence of Security Personnel
CODEO observers reported seeing uniformed security personnel at post at all polling stations observed.
Based on the Coalition’s observation at the 40-selected polling stations being observed throughout the constituency, so far, CODEO believes that the Electoral Commission has so far lived up to its mandate of ensuring the smooth conduct of the elections. The Coalition will continue observation of the polls until the close and counting of polls. CODEO will share its observation findings with the general public at periodic times. The Coalition, therefore, urges all stakeholders, including voters, the political parties and their supporters, to continue and remain calm for the process to go on smoothly to the end.
Mr. Albert Kofi Arhin